To pay tribute to the legendary playwright, actor and director Girish Karnad, who passed away on June 10 after a prolonged illness, a memorial event was organised by Indian Writers Forum, Raza Foundation, and Jan Natya Manch. Held at India International Centre, the event ‘A Life of Cultural Resistance: Paying tribute to Girish Karnad’ saw eminent people who knew Karnad or had worked with him in the past.Ashok Vajpayee, Gita Hariharan, TM Krishna, MK Raina, Anuradha Kapur, and K Satchinandan were among the few dignitaries present at the venue. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe organisers paid homage to the legendary playwright by showing clips of his plays, movie, interviews and a lot more compiled in a video. Later, all his friends and colleagues delivered their eulogies and remembered how he had a clear conscience and courage to speak against the evils of societies and break the illogical norms that don’t allow people to raise their voice. Highlight of the event was Jan Natya Manch’s performance, who presented excerpts from the plays of Girish Karnad such as Tughlaq, Talenanda, Nagamandala. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Gita Hariharan, who moderated the entire discussion, highlighted one of the important aspects to Karnad – myth, tale, and history. Though essential to his work, this did not make him vulnerable to nativism or being frozen in the past. Rather his use of myth and tale was open-ended. While the past fed his creative energy, it was actually the present he was engaged with – be it his plays, ideas, speaking up for freedom of speech or against crushing of dissent. Also, she mentioned that the contributions to Kannada theatre were remarkable. Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Vajpayee said, “Karnad was one of the few people who maintained a balance between modernity and traditions. He staged plays where there would be traditional dialogues with a modern tone.” Ashok also recalled how Karnad would raise his voice against the wrong, without thinking about the consequences at all. Ashok concluded by saying that the only way to remember him is to remain dynamic, active, courageous and vocal. MK Raina said that Girish had open avenues for artists. “His perspective towards theatre was very unique. Instead of being a part of the rat race, he chose to create a new definition of theatre. It was Karnad’s ‘Hayavadana’ that brought a change in the Indian theatre scene and it’s because of his we are enjoying versatility in the theatrical sphere today.” The event came to an end with K Satchinandan reciting his poem ‘Beware’, followed by T M Krishna’s performance where he sang Vachana of Basavanna in Kannada.